Culture Briefing

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About Culture Briefing

Each week, we publish a resource called Culture Briefing, a curated set of articles designed to cultivate cultural wisdom by directing your attention to important ideas and conversations. Sign up for weekly delivery of Culture Briefing to your inbox by clicking “Subscribe” above, or browse our archived articles. Find out more about Culture Briefing here.

The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

Boston Globe

Billy Baker, a Southie native now writing for the Globe, reflects on the challenges of friendship and loneliness among middle-aged men.

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Why We Can't Look Away From Our Screens

The New York Times

Alter argues that the best term to describe our relationship with our incredibly powerful personal technologies is “behavioral addiction.”

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'Irresistible' By Design: It's No Accident You Can't Stop Looking At The Screen


Alter talks about his new book with NPR’s Fresh Air.

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The Binge Breaker

The Atlantic

Harris, a former “design ethicist” at Google, places much of the blame for addictive technology at the feet of app designers and engineers.

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What is the Meaning Behind These Categories?

These categories are intended to orient you to the substance of the article and to communicate our framework for understanding the endowments that constitute civic life. This “human ecology” model is at the core of the Thriving Cities Project, a research initiative of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

Why a Universal Basic Income is a Terrible Idea

National Review

A critique of the UBI from the political right.

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The UBI Bait and Switch


A critique of the UBI from the political left.

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Libertarian Charles Murray: The welfare state has denuded our civic culture

PBS NewsHour

On the Libertarian Right, theorists like Charles Murray advocate for the UBI as a replacement for the vast majority of government-administered social programs.

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Life, Liberty, and a Little Bit of Cash


On the Social Democratic Left, the UBI does not necessarily replace the modern welfare state, but merely supplements it.

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This Kenyan village is a laboratory for the biggest basic income experiment ever


On the Philanthrocapitalist Right, some are making direct donations to individuals as a way to alleviate need and encourage innovation.

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India flirts with a UBI

The Economist

On the Humanitarian Left, the case for the UBI is about building a commitment to social justice into a society’s political self-understanding as its economy modernizes.

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